A message from our co-founder, jamie newton
Most people, whether they catch themselves or not, have a hard time believing a woman when she shares her knowledge, her ideas, her account of living even. We see it all the time, right? That's why hepeat trended on Twitter. That's why my instructors who are women have their knowledge questioned more than my instructors who are men. And that's why women come forward with testimonies of sexual misconduct and there's this hive of inquisition, like
"If these allegations are true, why didn’t she report it 30 years ago?"
"I don't know; it just seems like there's something missing. She probably just wanted the attention."
It's this kind of sexism—the kind that doesn't physically grab butts or explicitly tell a woman to stay in her place or have some statute prohibiting it—that gets to me most.
In early 2017, I ended up debating with a white, cis, male friend at a BBQ because obviously that seemed like a good idea, and he, as an affluent male—and therefore the resident expert on women and gender—found himself to be tasked with wrangling my shrill, unfounded opinions. A while into it, another man interjected, repeating everything I had been saying. The first guy almost immediately deescalated, didn't interrupt once, and conceded to "his" every point. So, you know, basically just your average Tuesday.
The cool thing about the energy created from being frustrated is that sometimes it weaves itself into an idea, which is what happened here. The second man didn't say anything distinctive. He didn't even really say it differently than I had. But he was respected and believed and regarded. He was heard.
Dominant identities speaking for historically marginalized identities isn't new. What if we could reclaim that phenomena though? What if we could shatter it from the inside? And what if then people actually knew what we said?